By Hans Habe
KATHRINE, a bewitching Austrian huntress who numbered among her lovers a soldier, a count, a banker, and an industrialist, sacrificed almost everything that was human to gain her end. She “had lived with strange men in strange cities in strange hotels,” and now by trying to marry her daughter into a socially prominent French family was taking her revenge on “all lovers who had offered a home to other women but only love to her.” This is the story too of her lover, Bernard Lacoste, the industrialist who could not understand his three sons, each of whom was a symbol of the conflicts of the times.
The Paris strikes, the French political confusion, the “phony war,” play important parts in the story, with the result that it is not only a fine novel of conflicting passions and generations but also a revealing chapter in the baffling story of the fall of France.